Om Namah Shivaya in Bhairavi Raga

Chanting with Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

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Om Namah Shivaya - Bhairavi Raga

A recording of this namasankirtana is available in the Siddha Yoga Bookstore.

The Great Redeeming Mantra

by Ian Arnold

Om Namah Shivaya is one of the most ancient and venerated mantras of India. “Om” refers to the primordial sound from which all creation emanates; “Namah” expresses reverence; and “Shivaya” means “to Lord Shiva,” the divine Self within. These words—“I honor Lord Shiva, my own Self”—give us a means to acknowledge and worship our own divinity. With each repetition of the mantra, we nurture the awareness of our innermost nature.

Baba Muktananda often referred to Om Namah Shivaya as “the great redeeming mantra.” Empowered by the grace of the Guru, this mantra redeems us from the tendencies that keep us feeling limited and ultimately reveals our inner state of freedom and oneness with Shiva, the great Self of all. The Siddha Yoga Gurus—Bhagavan Nityananda, Baba Muktananda, and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda—have imparted this mantra to seekers to awaken their inner spiritual energy, Kundalini Shakti. By repeating Om Namah Shivaya while holding an awareness of its meaning, we can come to recognize this divine energy scintillating within ourselves and all of creation.

On the night of Mahashivaratri, we can honor Lord Shiva by chanting Om Namah Shivaya. It is said in the Linga Purana that on Mahashivaratri a single repetition of this potent mantra carries the power of a thousand repetitions at any other time.

You can chant Om Namah Shivaya with Gurumayi by clicking on the recording above. Gurumayi composed the melody of this chant in the Bhairavi raga, a melodic pattern that evokes intense yearning for the Lord. As we chant the mantra, we give voice to our love of the divine Self that is our very essence.